The end of the Easter holidays is in sight. Due to the extra long Easter break, the number of holiday admissions rose by almost 23%. This seems a lot, but in reality it is low: the holiday share accounts for only 1.5% of the total work volume. However, your employees would benefit from good holiday planning, and so would you as an employer.
The Easter Bunny had to work extra hard this year to provide all the schoolchildren, who suddenly had an extra week off, with Easter eggs and sweets. Chocolate offers comfort, also to the many parents who had to arrange care for their offspring while staying at home.
And yet, our analysis of 240,000 employees (employed by more than 32,000 employers) shows that we have been more frugal with our days off than with all the goodies traditionally associated with this period: in the extra school-free week before the Easter holidays, the share of holidays rose on average by 22.7%, compared to the 'normal' school week before.
Peanuts, compared to the fall break in 2020, which also lasted a week longer due to the second corona wave. At that time, the number of days off was between 45% and more than 100% higher, i.e. double that of the consecutive school week.
Although the general well-being of Belgian employees is falling, they are not inclined to rush through their days of leave just yet. They think spring is far too early to go on holiday. The hope for a 'better and maybe even pandemic-free autumn' is alive, and leaves us longing for a real holiday. Then why not just hang on a little longer and save up your vacation days?
In addition, the huge load of working from home and the persistent corona measures make it particularly difficult to distinguish between 'work' and 'holiday'. Taking leave now feels like 'going on holiday to your (home) workplace', and vice versa. Destination home office sounds a lot less appealing than a trip to the South of France. But precisely because of the accumulation of stress, frustration and other health problems, it is a must for your employees to take a well-deserved break now and again. To prevent it from souring them - mentally and physically.
As an employer, you want to avoid at all costs that your work organisation and business continuity are compromised when all your employees take their leave simultaneously in the autumn. At the same time, you want to prevent them from dropping out for long periods of time. There is therefore a need for a structural solution towards higher well-being and good holiday arrangements.
A possible solution lies in a balance between the two: sound leave planning strengthens the general well-being. All the more reason to motivate your employees to spread their holidays more evenly, and to coordinate them better. So your schedule doesn't suffer, and neither do they.
In addition to statutory leave, there are various types of thematic leaves or time credits for which your employees may be eligible. Examples include parental leave, medical assistance and time credit. Is your employee following a training course? Then you may be able to rely on Flemish training leave.
When your employees have a tough time keeping all the balls in the air, these leaves can offer a solution. These alternatives allow them to rebalance their work and private lives, which is also conducive to their well-being.
Are there advantages for you as an employer too? Absolutely: as your employees can plan their daily schedule in a more balanced way, this will also benefit your work schedule. It also significantly reduces the chance of your employees falling ill. Payment for leave is made by the RVA or the Flemish Government, depending on the type of leave taken by your employee. Of course, it is important that the corresponding procedures are respected, and that everything is always done in consultation.
As far as the red tape involved in thematic engagements is concerned, you don't have to worry: Acerta is happy to relieve you and take over the entire procedure of your organisation. We are even available to your employees when they have all kinds of questions and other feedback about their leave. Thus, you can focus on what really matters: keeping your activities going, while ensuring the continuity of your organisation.
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